Archive for the ‘Amanda Holland’ Category

Trainer Tip: Posture Before Pain

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

by Amanda Holland

One of the most important things you can do for your body is to make sure you have and use correct posture. We all might slouch, every now and then, but to be mindful of your positions throughout the day is important. This can include things as simple as walking, to something as challenging as carrying and putting away groceries. Flexibility and resistance training play a huge role in improving postural imbalances, and can teach your body how to use correct form even when you don’t think about it (muscle memory).

Important check points involving posture:

  • Use your legs: Anything that requires you to bend over will require you to use your legs. This is important, considering many people use their back to lift. Have you ever heard or said “My low back hurts”? This is one of the main causes of low back pain. Focus on sitting your hips back, not letting the knees come forward, and keeping your chest up during any bending you may do throughout the day.
  • Keep your shoulders back: Unless we are sleeping, we are constantly up and moving around. We may not notice the effects of gravity on our body. If the shoulders are already hunched, that gives gravity an advantage to apply more pressure to the top of the shoulders. Therefore, causing shoulder pain. Try pinching the shoulder blades together and depressing the shoulders. (Let any pain you feel in the shoulders serve as a reminder to keep them back and depressed.)
  • Flexibility: Stretching the major muscle groups every day will increase improvement in overall posture. If you are not flexible enough to get into a correct position it kind of defeats the purpose. Try starting your day off with some stretching: hamstrings, calves, quads, chest, and back. This “feels good” and will be easy to incorporate into your daily lifestyle.
  • Resistance: Resistance training, done in the correct form, can help strengthen week muscles in the back. For instance, a band resistance-back row can help strengthen back muscles (such as the rhomboids) to help keep your shoulders back. Also try squats into a chair using proper form in the legs and hips.

Keep in mind that the simple things make a huge difference. Learning these basic rules can improve your performance and take away possibly any aches and pains you may be experiencing. Give it a try!

5 Top strategies for weight loss

Monday, January 14th, 2013

By Amanda Holland, Personal Trainer

Well, it’s the New Year! Have you made your resolutions? According to the TODAY show, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and of those, almost 40 percent are related to weight loss. With many fad diets and weight loss myths, it sometimes may seem impossible to keep the pounds off. I came across an article on “HUFFPOST: Healthy Living,” by dietician and author Manuel Villacorta that explains his 5 Top strategies for successful weight loss.  He confirms some things you may already know, such as how important it is to spread your meals evenly throughout the day, and debunks myths such as “never eat in the evening” and gives his justification for these ideas.  He also puts forth ideas you may never have considered, such as the benefits of good, conscientious breathing and planning ahead for your grocery trips and meals. This article has great ideas to work new healthy habits into your everyday lifestyle.

In my experience with trying to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine, a good strategy is to write down a few small and obtainable goals. As you find success with the few things you have written down, continue to make new goals and to repeat the cycle. I have a sweet spot for chocolate, for example, so I made a small goal for myself that only on Fridays I will treat myself to some dark chocolate. Once I achieved overcoming one of my bad habits I made another goal to run/walk at least 10 miles a week, and so on and so forth. Challenging yourself one small step at a time, in the long run, will help you live and lead a healthier lifestyle. Test yourself this year, and find success following your New Year’s resolutions!